Hot Springs FFA has highly successful state convention in April

Submitted photo

Senior members of this past year’s Hot Springs FFC Club included, from left, Logan Halls, Braden Grill, Will Kuhl, JewelinAnna Brown, Rachel Rickenbach, Mallaigh McCarthy, Rhiannan Allen, Brooke Harkless, Megan Sanders, Xavier Wright and Remington Allen.

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Hot Springs’ Megan Sanders elected South Dakota State FFA Vice President

By Elizabeth Davis

Hot Springs FFA Chapter Reporter 

HOT SPRINGS – On April 23-25, the Hot Springs FFA chapter went to the South Dakota State FFA Convention where they competed at the state level Career Development Event contests. The chapter had nine teams qualify to compete at the state CDE competitions, including Agronomy, Floriculture, Food Science and Technology, Horse Evaluation, Livestock Evaluation, Natural Resources, Nursery and Landscape, Range Judging and Veterinary Science.

There is more to the SD State FFA Convention than the CDE competitions, our members have the opportunity to receive recognition for their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Projects. The top 3 SAE projects in each category are recognized on stage and the first place in each category represents our state at the national level. Megan Sanders was a finalist in three areas at the state level, these include the Beef Placement area where she received 3rd place, the Outdoor Recreation Proficiency area where she placed 2nd. In addition and lastly, Diversified Agriculture Production where Megan placed 1st and will be going to the national level in October of 2022. Rhiannon Allen was also a finalist in the Equine Entrepreneurship area where she placed 3rd. Hanna Sletto was a finalist in the Specialty Animal Production area and placed 3rd. 

At the State convention this year Hot Springs FFA also had its first State Officer candidate. Megan Sanders arrived in Brookings 3 days prior to the State Convention to begin the lengthy and rigorous process of interviewing for State Office. At the final session of the convention, Hot Springs FFA members were able to cheer Megan on as she was selected as the South Dakota State FFA Vice President. She is Hot Springs FFA’s first State Officer and will represent our chapter well as she serves the association over the next year. Congratulations Megan! 

In the Horse Evaluation CDE members competing include– Erin Osmotherly, Destiny Webb, and Kaemyn Klippenstein. They competed well in a very large and competitive CDE contest this year as a young team. At State FFA Erin Osmotherly placed 6th individually in the gold category.

 The Veterinary Science CDE team competes on their knowledge of veterinary science instruments and techniques, veterinary math calculations, and animal breed identification. This year’s team consisted of  – Rhiannon Allen, Megan Sanders, Brooke Harkless, and Mallaigh McCarthy. At State FFA the Veterinary Science team finished as a bronze level team with Megan Sanders earning silver individually and Mallaigh McCarthy earning bronze individually.

The Floriculture CDE challenges students to learn to identify various flowers and instruments used by florists, create floral arrangements and calculate the total item cost for the arrangement made. The team this year consisted of Rachel Rickenbach, Jewels Brown, Riley Lockhart, and Jayla Evans. At the state-level contest, the floriculture team placed 8th overall. They were in the silver category as a team at State and individually Rachel Rickenbach was a gold individual, Riley Lockhart and Jewels Brown were each silver individuals. 

There was a new contest introduced to our district this year and it was the Nursery Landscape CDE competition. The objective behind this CDE is to develop an understanding of plants commonly used in landscaping, landscaping tools, and principles and techniques of landscaping design. Our Nursery Landscaping team members were Logan Halls, Braden Grill, and Will Kuhl. At the state-level competition, Will Kuhl was in the bronze category individually.

Our Agronomy team members were Kyle Sanders, Zetta Kuhl, Alex Burgess, and Sydney Lockhart. During this competition, they are to identify crop, forage, and weed seeds, and plants, how to grade seeds, and determine plant nutrient deficiencies. At the state-level contest, the agronomy team finished 6th overall and was a silver division team. Individually, Sydney Lockhart was a gold-level individual, Alexandra Burgess was silver and Zetta Kuhl was silver.  

Food Science and Technology has an individual and team portion to the event. They are to develop and market a food product, identify food products and scents, and gain an understanding of nutrition. Our Food Science team members included Hanna Sletto, Elizabeth Davis, Rose Weekley, and Megan Wendland. The food science team placed 11th overall at State FFA and individually Hanna Sletto finished 10th place earning herself a silver category finish individually.

 In the Livestock Judging, CDE competitors place and give reasons on classes of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Our Livestock Judging team this year was Brylee Grill, Andrew Evanyo, Terry Hamel, and Corbin Brock. 

The Natural Resources team consisted of  Kaden Chaffee, Andrew Evanyo, Trace DeBoer, and Remington Allen. This competition requires identifying trees, fish, mammals, and insects. At the State level competition Trace DeBoer placed in the bronze category individually.

All of our members that attended had a great time and worked hard. They completed a service project on behalf of the State FFA Association for Meals of Hope. This year we are losing some of our most active members as they are graduating. On behalf of the Hot Springs FFA chapter we wish you the best in all your endeavors. The rest of us are excited and ready for another year of learning, working hard, and helping the community. 

Fall River County Herald Star

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